Impressions: Bright Falls -- Episode 3, "Lights Out"


Posted May 4, 2010 - By Jake Gaskill

Impressions: Bright Falls -- Episode 3,

Previously on “TheFeed discusses the latest episode of the Alan Wake prequel mini-series Bright Falls”:

Stephen “Tangent” Johnson addressed the tonal and thematic similarities between Alan Wake, Deadly Premonition and David Lynch’s cult-classic television series Twin Peaks, while Jake “On Topic” Gaskill let the peculiar and unsettling introduction to the town of Bright Falls and protagonist Jake Fisher’s creepy blackout spells consume his every thought.

This week, Stephen and I chat about the third episode of Bright Falls, entitled “Lights Out.” Hit the jump to see if Steve stays on point.

Stephen Johnson: If you can watch this mini-series of web videos and not want to play Alan Wake, we're not going to be friends. The attention to detail, lush but evil setting, the cast of quirky characters, and the "thin line between sleep and waking" elements of the mini-series point to the perfect kind of survival horror game that viewers will get to experience in Alan Wake.

This week finds our protagonist waking up in the woods with mud (and blood?) all over his arms. He sees the mysterious, blonde son of the hotel owner in the woods, and as everyone who has ever seen a horror movie knows, pale children are terrifying and portend disaster, as does evidence of a mysterious person breaking all the light bulbs in your hotel then hiding in the woods...

Impressions: Bright Falls -- Episode 3,

Jake Gaskill: For starters, opening with a blatant rip off of the opening of the very first episode of Lost was fantastic. Throw in a creepy kid watching Jake Fisher wake up in the woods, and you have my heart. Also, the shot of Jake’s mud-caked hands confirms that it was actually his hands that appeared briefly (frantically digging I might add) during the freak out montage in the “Time Flies”episode when Jake is interviewing Dr. Hartman. What ever could Jake have been digging for?

We get another solid scene between Jake and his still unnamed gal pal that once again demonstrates the awkwardness of their relationship. After Jake shows her his hallucination-induced ramblings that he scrawled on his notepad during the Dr. Hartman interview, Lady X calmly tells Jake, “Sometimes staying out here just gets into your head.” Does this mean that the weirdness of Bright Falls, and the supposed dark forces therein, are just figments of people’s imaginations? Or is there really crazy sh*t going on in this here parts?

Bright Falls -- Episode 3,

As if to answer this very question, the episode shifts to the creepy owner of the motel where Jake is staying and the owner’s son (who we saw at the beginning of the episode hiding in the woods.) This entire sequence is wonderfully tense as we follow the man while he investigates a broken light bulb on one of the motel cottages. Something worth noting here: like the windshield cracking effect that appeared in the first episode, this episode features several more of these wonderful visual touches. In the final sequence, where the man is stalking through the woods looking for whatever broke his precious bulb, there are two awesome uses of it – one that adds a puff of gun smoke just out of the upper frame of the video and another that adds the empty gun casing that gets expelled from the guy’s gun. Seriously, these effects rock.

The last shot of the man laughing hysterically before being sucked off screen by some unknown force is the first tangible indication (since the series’ opening shot of a body bag being laid on a lakeshore) that there is in fact some kind of dark and deadly force present in Bright Falls (or they have some mighty strong woodchucks). With just a few episodes left, there are still plenty of questions to answers and mysteries to solve. Wow, this show really is inspired by Lost!

Anything illuminate for you during "Lights Out"?

Should the need arise, feel free to E-Mail me your tips, suggestions, and/or personal philosophies, or follow me on Twitter.

Impressions: Bright Falls -- Episode 3, "Lights Out"


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